I can’t say I have ever put too much thought into who I train with. But until today, I read another blog post from my friend that discussed the considerations that are required to be put in to choosing your training partner. The blog was really interesting and opened my eyes to why some training partners have worked so well for me, while some fail drastically, others start out alright, then dwindle down and are required to be traded in for a newer model.
I have trained with friends, brother, sister, dad, partner, trainer and probably any others you can think of. I have trained with other competitors, those that have just asked me to, and those I have tried to help.
I have only found a few that have worked really well for me.
Those that haven’t worked well, it’s not necessarily the training partner, or your fault. Sometimes, you just don’t mesh well. For me, some of my training partners have not had the same motivation and drive in what they do as what I do. Sometimes they don’t want to lift heavy weights, for fear of getting ‘big,’ for me, this is what I am after (not big but heavy if I can). Others just have a different mindset, they don’t believe they can go harder. Sure this doesn’t influence me, and they still encourage me to work hard and praise me when I do well. But the like-mindedness that I feel is required, is missing and therefore this doesn’t work.
Sometimes they aren’t reliable, and if they can’t get up at 6am and leave you hanging for half an hr until you decide to start without them without so much as a text to let you know, well this is just rude and honestly it can’t work. I have had friends bail on me countless times. To start with I remain enthusiastic for the next session but very quickly my care factor for training with them dwindles away.
One type of training partner I have felt very hard to maintain, is the one that requires a pep talk for everything. From turning up to the session and what good it will do them, to how the burger and fries they ate don’t matter anymore and they look great. Meanwhile I need to try to remain focused on my own personal goals and keep on track. Sometimes I want a pick me up, but when have to spend all my energy lifting up the other person, well that’s just a workout in itself and I just don’t need, or want that. So that training partner wont work either.
Now one that stood out to me in my friends post, was about a training partner that talks too much. I love to chat, in fact it can be a joke I do it to much, but not when I train. And when I have started a session I am not really interested in being interrupted by people wanting to know what I am training for, or talking to me of so long I need to out a jumper back on. So a long talker, they need to go as well.
But what makes my good training partner? Well right now, I am loving the two I have. I have one that has my goals in front of mind, motivates me, guides me and knows what needs to be done to get me where I want to be. He understands me, my goals and my ability and pushes me beyond that, which can only better me in the long run. He takes control of the workouts which is something I do not need to think about, which can make it nice change and mean I can focus on the job at hand. We know when to talk, when to joke and when to get on with it. It’s like a mutual understanding that doesn’t need to be discussed. The perfect combination.
My other training partner, my dad, and he is great. Firstly he is my dad, so he knows what I am like. He can encourage me and believe in me because he has seen me succeed. He has also seen me fail so he knows how to deal with me. Now while I take care of our training sessions and the program, dad always enters it with the same mindset as myself; let’s get the job done and work hard. He has weights around the same as me, but a touch better. So with this shared enthusiasm and shared ability, I can use his strength as something to aim for. As I get better, as does he, and this becomes prefect for continuing to increase my strength and training. We are also very alike, we are competitive. This means, we will often try to push ourselves to the limits in order to beat the other, within our means of course, therefore again boosting my potential.
So I am happy with my training partners now, they tick all the boxes, and having the two means It is changed up. And sometimes I do sessions on my own, which is nice as well with no one to interrupt, wait for or consider. How is your training partner performing?